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October 26, 2021
Taiwan will not bow to pressure by Beijing and will defend its democratic way of life, President Tsai Ing-wen said Sunday, following a spike in incursions by Chinese warplanes into its air defence zone.
Self-governed Taiwan’s 23 million people live under threat of invasion by China, who see the island as their territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary. “The more we achieve, the greater the pressure we face from China,” Tsai said in a speech marking Taiwan’s National Day, adding: “Nobody can force Taiwan to take the path China has laid out for us.”
She described Taiwan as “standing on democracy’s first line of defence”. “We hope for an easing of… relations (with Beijing) and will not act rashly, but there should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure,” she added.
The two sides have been ruled separately since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Tensions have risen to their highest in decades under Chinese President Xi Jinping, who broke off official communication with Taipei following Tsai’s election five years ago and ramped up economic, diplomatic and military pressure.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ASIA.NIKKEI.COM